Difference Between Gherkin and Pickle

Gherkin and pickles both are terms which convey very different meaning in different places. The two terms are often so confusing it is difficult for people to get a precise meaning to it.

Both gherkin and pickle are condiment food and are complimented with major food dishes. They are highly preferred for their rich sour and tangy taste and high nutrient value.

Gherkin vs Pickle

The difference between gherkin and pickle is that gherkin is referred to as a type of small cucumber though it is not completely cucumber. Gherkins are one to three inches long usually, whereas pickles are to any sort of vegetable or meat that has undergone the pickling process. Gherkins are pickles but pickles are not gherkins they may just be pickled cucumber.

Gherkin vs Pickle

Gherkins are small cucumber usually one to three inches that are usually pickled. They take almost 30 days to get rightfully pickled.

Pickles on the other hand can be referred to as any vegetable or meat that has undergone the pickling process. It typically takes four to five hours on average for the element to get pickled.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonGherkinPickles
DefinitionThey pickled “baby cucumbers”They are any vegetables or meat pickled
VersatilityGherkins are a type of picklesPickles cannot be gherkins
KindBaby cucumbers pickled are known as gherkinsAny vegetables or meat can be pickled
Pickling ageIt requires 30 days to get properly pickledIt can get properly pickled in 4-5 hours
Water contentThe gherkins have high water contentIn case of the pickles the water content varies from vegetable to vegetable
StateThe gherkins are smaller and crunchierThe pickles are considerably larger and soggy
MythIn few countries gherkins are referred to every size of cucumberIn few countries pickles are referred to pickled cucumbers

What is Gherkin?

Gherkin is usually referred to as “baby cucumber” or “small pickled cucumber”. Botanically gherkin is also known as West Indian gherkin or burr gherkin, being a very close relative of cucumber but not exactly cucumber.

The scientific name for cucumber is “cucumis sativus” while the scientific name for gherkin is “cucumis anguria”. The term gherkin comes from the Dutch work “gurken” which means “small pickled cucumber”.

In the UK, Ireland, Australia, and South Africa all the types of cucumbers are known as gherkins regardless of the size. Gherkins are usually one to three inches long.

Usually, when they are 3 inches long they are pickled in a container that contains vinegar or brine. Gherkins are usually more crunchy and crispy than the dill pickles.

Few people prefer adding horseradish to the gherkin to increase its crispiness. Gherkins are usually served as a condiment dish that accompanies the main dish.

It is eaten for its tangy taste that it provides. Gherkin takes approximately 30 days to be completely prepared.

The gherkin can be made sweeter by adding sugar to the pickling liquid which is usually brine or vinegar. But it is mostly preferred sour.

Herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, and mustard seeds are also used in the pickling agent to enhance the flavor of the gherkin even more. Gherkins are mostly preferred for eating with burgers.


What is Pickle?

Pickle is any vegetable that has undergone the process of pickling. The pickling component and the pickling liquid can vary according to choice and preference.

Pickling food can be either vegetable or meat, it can be cauliflower, carrot, onion, mango, prawn, chicken, etc. almost everything is pickled. Pickle is often a confusing food item because, in America, Canada, and Australia pickle is usually referred to as pickled cucumber.

But that is not the case when any vegetable undergoes the process of pickling it is known as a pickle. On average it takes up to 4-5 hours to typically pickle a vegetable.

The pickling food can either be pickled in a jar using pickling agents such as vinegar or brine and water and salt or it can also be pickled by the process of lacto-fermentation. Spices such as mustard, rosemary, pepper can be added to the pickling liquid to favor the pickle.

After pickling an item it mostly gets soggy and loses its crunch. Pickling is one of the oldest methods of food preservation there is to date. It is mainly preferred for its delicious and variety of flavors and health benefits.

Pickles are usually meant to compliment major dishes.

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Main Difference Between Gherkin and Pickle

  1. Gherkins are referred to as “baby cumbers” or “small pickled cucumbers”. They are usually of one to three inches size best preferred when of three inches. They are a close relative of cucumber though they are not exactly cucumbers. Pickles on the other hand are referred to as any sort of vegetables or meat that has undergone the picking process.
  2. Gherkins are a sort of pickles as pickled baby cucumbers are known as gherkins whereas pickles are not  gherkins, it might just be pickled cucumbers
  3. Gherkins typically take an average of 30 days to get completely whereas pickled takes four to five hours to get pickled.
  4. Gherkins are typically the size of one to three inches and they are crunchy even after the picking process whereas pickles are larger and get soggy after the pickling process.
  5. Gherkins have high water content whereas for pickles the water content will vary based on the food that is being pickled.
  6. Gherkins in few countries such as UK, Ireland, Australia, and South Africa are referred to cucumber of any size while that is not the case whereas the common myth foe pickle is that in a few countries such as America, Canada, and Australia it is referred to as pickled cucumbers.
Difference Between Gherkin and Pickle
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Last update on 2022-12-03 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API